Inspired by Fish Tank Cam and coffee pot machine
I just find people’s priorities very interesting. The fact that the first webcam was used to monitor the level of coffee in its pot. Also fish tank cam stood the test of time!
“All the world’s a stage,
and all the men and women merely players…” ~ Shakespeare
In the case of Jennifer Ringley in Jennicam, the extent of her life being a performance for seven whole years in front of her webcam sounds like an exhausting experience. To me, that meant that she went with little to no privacy, and I wonder how that affected her psychologically and how she was able to go on for seven years. Its as if she had a committed relationship with her webcam, in this case, with her many viewers. This is one example of the collective narrative where viewers formed connections with Jennifer’s everyday life. Indeed this largely open relationship with the world perhaps did affect her real life relationships as there were scandals and eventually she disappeared off the face of the Internet in 2003.
This 7-year performance leads me to these questions.
How much of our lives in this present age are we truly living? Perhaps like Jennifer, our regular lives are being dramatised and every detail magnified. Is the internet reshaping us to become creatures that rely on external validation from the media? The abrupt end to Jennifer’s internet presence is a trend that people are experiencing now in smaller doses termed the ‘Social Media Cleanse’. As we live in the blurred realities of the internet age, we need such breaks to re-establish the boundaries between virtual/ third space and reality.
BROKE the Internet before “Breaking the internet” became a thing
Jennicam received many viewers that at its peak received 7 million viewers a day. Of course, more intimate acts like Jennifer kissing her boyfriend overloaded the site and broke the internet in its time.
“I got a call from my ISP that I owed them several hundred dollars for bandwidth charges and I’d have to move my site. It was not something I had definitely prepared for.”
She also had to install more cameras and earned money from premium viewers. People are drawn to others doing normal everyday things and can relate to that. I would say that she is a pioneer for vlogging, letting people into their personal lives and sharing their experiences with each other.
Jennicam can be seen as an example for all of us about how far we could go with living in the Third Space. I particularly find her story extremely close to reality and relatable too. Like all good things must come to an end (Insert favourite TV Series here eg. Friends), Jennicam came to an end. She explored, became more matured and eventually liberated herself by disappearing and shutting down her cam. Her internet presence gave way to a whole bunch of other people interacting on the internet which is pretty amazing.